By Guest Blogger, Laquita Thomas Owner of Bobeam Natural Products
The word Bobeam (BO-BE-UM) is from the Ghanaian language Twi and it means 'the
way it was created'. Bobeam characterizes all of the items I make - they are all handmade.
Bobeam's specialty is shampoo bars made with all natural ingredients and they can
be used on all hair types, including locs. The shampoo bars contain no SLS or SLES,
detergents, surfactants, or sulfates. They are all-natural, 100% vegetable soap, non-
comedogenic, hypo-allergenic and biodegradable. The bars can be used to bathe with as well.
Just like a number of other ‘mixtresses’ I started making products for myself. My favorite
natural hair community Nappturality has tons of posts on homemade products. After
using recipes from the forum I branched off to experiment with my own ideas.
While researching ingredients and collecting books on herbs and essential oils. I found
it interesting that different herbs, oils and butters could be combined to make products that
were cheaper than store bought ones that are packed with chemicals.
I also started sharing the products with my friends, family and clients at my salon who
kept returning for more. They all would encourage me to start selling them,
especially my mother, but it didn’t sink in until years later to start doing so - maybe it
was all those years of relaxing that clogged my brain.
I became fascinated with the idea of shampoo bars. I liked the idea that you could wash
your hair and, if you wanted, your body as well with one product. For some reason I had
the hardest time trying to find a shampoo bar that I could use that would not leave my hair feeling stripped.
So, again I began experimenting with adding essential oils to basic soap bases, and
through trial and error came across a few formulas that actually worked. I have found that
many peoplehaven’t tried shampoo bars, and I believe they are very unique. The best
part about them is that along with being moisturizing, they are SLS, SLES and paraben
I decided to start selling the shampoo bars online.
My stepfather, who is from Ghana came up with the name ‘Bobeam’. I decided to start by setting up an Etsy.com shop to see how the shampoo bars would sell. Once they started to do well, I added other items. As sales picked up, I decided to start my own website BobeamNaturalProducts.com. Under Bobeam Natural Products, I also sell hair teas, conditioners, moisturizers and face products. The hair teas are also another unique item because of they way they are There are so many people who would like to incorporate natural products into their routine but can’t afford the high prices. Therefore, my goal is to keep selling high quality products for affordable prices Also I use proceeds of the sales to go to various charities, such as the Cancer Society, as well as a way to give back to those in need.
The main advice I would give to someone who would like to start a natural products
business is to do your research – seek out other people who are doing what you want to
do or similar to what you want to do, especially those who are succeeding. If possible
check out what their customers are saying – find out where there is a need and fulfill it.
The next thing I would say to those seeking to start a natural hair products business or
any business is to – (borrowing Nike’s tagline) – “Just Do It!” I talked for years about
starting a business and it just took minutes to do so.